On October 23, 2012, Apple released the new iPad mini. It is said to be 23% thinner and 53% lighter than the previous iPad. It starts at $329 for a 16 GB Wi-Fi model. It is also available in 32GB and 64GB and in Wi-Fi + Cellular models. There are two color choices: Black & Slate and White & Silver. The iPad mini is very similar to the iPad, except that it is a lot lighter and can easily be held in the palm of your hand, like other tablets in the market, mostly those running Android OS. Can the iPad mini compete?

Some of the features of the iPad mini are nothing new to those who have seen or used an iPad before. It has the standard built-in apps such as FaceTime, Email, and Message, and it also has access to the App Store, which houses over 275,000 iPad apps. In terms of tech specs, it uses the fast A5 chip that provides speed and fluidity to the tablet screen. It is stated to have a 10-hour battery life as well.

One feature specific to Apple products is FaceTime. It is a built-in app and can be used over Wi-Fi or cellular data. While using the iPad mini, you can take advantage of the front-facing FaceTime HD camera or the iSight camera on the rear. The iSight camera even lets you capture videos in 1080p HD and takes full advantage of the 5-megapixels to capture photos.

The iPad mini features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, which means faster Internet connection with download speeds up to 150 Mbps. If you do get the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, you also have access to LTE, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSPDA, and cellular and wireless networks.

The iPad mini also comes with Siri: the intelligent assistant, iCloud: Apple’s cloud service, and iOS 6: the most recent and advanced of Apple’s operating systems. However, the most recent iPad contains these features, so the iPad mini is essentially only a miniature third generation iPad. It has the same resolution as the previous iPad, 1024×768, but has a smaller screen to pack all those pixels. On the downside, it doesn’t have the Retina Display that most iPads have. It does have the same front and rear camera as the iPad with Retina Display, but lacks the Dual-core A6X with quad-core graphics, meaning slightly slower performance.

For approximately $170 cheaper, you can get a miniature version of the newest iPad with slightly less advanced tech specs. Whether it can compete against the iPad with Retina Display or other similar tablets, has yet to be determined. Your best bet is to go to the nearest Apple Store and try it out yourself. Who knows, you may end up walking out with a brand new iPad mini.

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